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Trust Issues

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Kaito was, for once, actually engaging in a quiet lunch period free of pranks or tricks up on the roof of the school. He was leaning against the chain link fence in the sun just texting and enjoying the wind on his back when Akako’s shadow fell over him.

“What is it that’s got you so focused on your phone these days, Kuroba-kun?” Akako purred.

Kaito heard and (briefly) considered her words before deciding to ignore her. His attention never left his phone. Akako sat next to him anyway.

“You’re always looking at your phone in class, too.” She tugged a little at her skirt, straightening the pleats. “I know we’re a scant few weeks from The End of High School Forever,” she said in a grand tone that made Kaito wonder if she was plotting to sic some kind of snake monster on the whole school at graduation. “But doesn’t that mean you should be concerned about final exams?”

Kaito couldn’t help it. He acknowledged her then, but only by scoffing, “Please,” with a roll of his eyes and a quirk to his lips. Other than that he continued to ignore her, though he did tilt the phone screen away so that she couldn’t read what was on it.

“Hmph.” Akako turned away as well and slid something out of her pocket. After a few seconds of silence she murmured, “I see. ‘Shinichi’, is it?” Kaito’s head came up abruptly then but she just went on speaking to no one. “Tell me more. …Kudou? Kudou Shinichi?”

“What are you doing?” Kaito grabbed Akako’s shoulder and turned her toward him. She had a small, clear orb resting in her palm and there, beyond the curve of the glass, was an image of Shinichi slouching over a school desk. He had one hand propping up his cheek while the other tapped at his phone screen. The quiet smile on his face would have made for an endearing picture if not for the fact that Kaito was looking at it via some kind of magic spy-crystal without Shinichi’s permission. Kaito made a flailing swipe for the orb. “Stop it! Leave him alone!”

Akako just turned again, blocking him with her body and holding the orb stretched out in her opposite hand. “What are you doing texting this detective?” she demanded. “What kind of game are you playing, Kuroba-kun?”

“Why wouldn’t I text him?” Kaito shot back. “We’re dating!”

Akako’s breath left her in a sharp scoff. “What do you mean ‘dating’?”

“I mean we go out to eat and watch movies together. Go to book stores, meet up for coffee, text each other with sickening frequency. I mean he’s my boyfriend.”

Akako stared over her shoulder at him. “You can’t date this detective.”

“Sorry,” Kaito said, not sounding it in the least. He finally sat back, but Akako didn’t pull the orb in again, still keeping it at a distance and watching him with distinct mistrust. “All evidence points to the contrary. He is very dateable.”

“He. Could. Find. Out,” she hissed incredulously.

“Find. Out. What?” Kaito mocked back.

“Oh, you know very well what.” Akako stood abruptly and tucked the orb back into her skirt pocket. Kaito actively snubbed the opportunity to look up that skirt as she stood over him, arms crossed. “And if you insist on playing coy, let me put it to you this way: A detective like him is bound to find out all of your secrets.”

Kaito rolled his eyes and got to his feet with a put-upon sigh. “He can’t ‘find out’ what he’s already been told.” He tossed in a few finger quotes for good measure.

Akako looked horrified, recoiling like Kaito had just revealed himself to be some kind of foul-smelling sludge monster. “You can’t possibly trust him that much. There’s no way. There’s no way Kaitou KID could afford to trust a detective that much.”

“I’m not–!”

“I’ll make you see it.” Akako’s eyes had taken on that gleam of crazy that made Kaito’s nerves jangle, tempting him to give ground. He didn’t. “You need to come to your senses before this ruins you,” she said, determined.

“What does that mean– Akako, wait!” Kaito reached out but the roof was empty again. He bit his lip and looked woefully down at the texts on his phone. “Dammit.”

 

The next time Kaito saw Akako, he was walking Shinichi home after a date. The park they’d cut through was dark and empty, deserted for the late hour, and when Akako appeared it was from between the shadows of the trees ahead of them. One moment the path was empty and the next Akako’s heeled boots and the long handle of her scythe were clicking firmly onto the sidewalk. Kaito and Shinichi both jerked to a stop, their conversation cutting off.

“It’s ready,” Akako said. With a slight wave of her upturned left hand, something else eased out of the darkness – a wide glass container filled with a swirling green and grey liquid. It hovered above her palm and followed her movements as she took a step toward them. “It just needs one more thing.”

The attack was sudden enough that neither Kaito nor Shinichi even moved until it was already over and a short cut on Kaito’s forearm was dipping blood. They both cried out, Kaito in pain and Shinichi in surprise, and Kaito recoiled right into Shinichi’s arms. Shinichi was already tugging out his handkerchief and pressing hard against the cut, his other hand supporting Kaito’s arm to keep the pressure steady.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Shinichi shot at Akako.

Akako was too busy dripping Kaito’s blood from the tip of the scythe into the hovering glass to respond. The liquid inside slowed its swirling, thickening and turning a deep red. With a satisfied nod, she left the glass to hover and turned back to Shinichi and Kaito.

One glance was all it took to send Shinichi flying back against the nearest tree. Unfortunately, his tight grip on Kaito’s arm tugged him along as well and Kaito hit the trunk, head-on and hard. Shinichi’s hand spasmed open as an impossible, invisible force locked him rigid against the tree and Kaito slumped into the grass with a groan, momentarily stunned.

“Oh, look at the two of you,” Akako cooed as she stepped into the grass. “Thick as thieves.” She dipped her finger into the glass that had followed at her side and approached Shinichi, but, try as he might, he couldn’t move. He couldn’t even speak. Every muscle in his body was tense with resistance, pulling away from the tree with all his strength, but he was getting absolutely nowhere. He could only watch.

Akako’s finger felt ice cold when she touched Shinichi, painting a wide red line along his inner wrist just as Kaito staggered to his feet with the aid of the tree. His eyes went wide as the potion sank into Shinichi’s skin.

“Akako–” Kaito tried, but then his voice cut out, his body locking up with a single, hard pulse that shook through him like ripples, all reaching out toward Shinichi. He gasped and clutched at the tree again.

“There now,” Akako said. She looked down at Kaito’s hunched form with adoring eyes. “He can’t move or speak right now,” she said to him. “But the potion I just gave the detective will allow him to control you completely with any verbal order he should care to give. If you really trust him then leave things as they are and I’ll let him go. But if not…” She held the scythe out to Kaito. “Draw blood. You can reverse the effect only with his blood added to the potion and taken into your body the same way.”

Kaito forced himself to stand a little straighter, looked Akako dead in the eye, and took the scythe. Her smile was unbearably smug and Shinichi tried to brace himself for the cut that must logically come next, but Kaito just turned and winged the scythe as far away from them as possible. It spiraled through the air and landed with a clatter somewhere in the distant darkness of the park. He turned back to Akako. “Let him go.”

“Don’t be stupid,” Akako replied, but there was a hint of nervous laughter beneath it. “Think about what you’re risking for a petty argument. Aren’t you the one who told me to grow up–?”

Kaito took a step toward her, shaky with the effects of the spell. He could feel his body being tugged back toward Shinichi like a physical force, and it scared him that just Shinichi’s presence could hold that much sway. It was a vulnerability, but it wasn’t Shinichi that scared him. It was the fact of that vulnerability clutching at him here, in a random, semi-public place with Akako a few paces away and Shinichi unable to move. “Let. Him. Go.”

Akako actually took a step back and Kaito felt some pride at that. “…Fine,” she said, but it was weak, like she regretted it – regretted everything – but was already resigned to letting it play out. “Have it your way.”

Shinichi came abruptly free with an almost careless wave of Akako’s hand. He barely caught himself, his knees weak and his breath short from the efforts of his useless struggle, but he immediately gasped out, “Kaito, I order you to do only what you choose to do of your own free will, uninfluenced by this woman’s magic,” like he couldn’t get the words out fast enough. As soon as he had, he sagged to the ground. Akako’s mouth dropped open. Kaito grinned. “Cool,” Shinichi panted. “Great. Now will someone please explain to me what the hell just happened?”

Kaito laughed and Akako recoiled. “Th-That’s ridiculous! You just threw away that chance?” she demanded of Shinichi.

Yeah he did,” Kaito answered. He was positively gazing at Shinichi as he crouched at his side. Shinichi just tugged Kaito’s handkerchief from his pocket and went right back to putting pressure on the cut that was still leaking blood down Kaito’s arm and hand. “And you know what?” Kaito added to Akako. “I trust him even more now.”

Akako let out something like a squawk but neither of them really heard it because Kaito had leaned in and Shinichi had noticed. He looked up from Kaito’s arm long enough to allow the kiss that followed.

“Ridiculous,” Akako muttered again. Then she, the scythe, and the hovering potion all disappeared back into the darkness.

 

That night, when Akako appeared in Shinichi’s bedroom, she had to fight to keep from twitching at the sight of Kaito in his bed. He was cuddled up to Shinichi with his cheek resting on Shinichi’s chest and Shinichi’s arm settled across Kaito’s back. Both of them were deep asleep.

“Well, at least it will save me a trip,” she muttered bitterly, and she passed her hand over them, letting a heavy sleep spell settle before she wielded her scythe. Slowly, with precision, she pierced the back of Shinichi’s forearm and dragged the tip across. Blood gathered in the curve of the blade, attracted by the scythe’s enchantments, and she drew it back to drip its harvest into the floating potion once more. Stoic, she dipped a finger and painted a line along Kaito’s inner wrist below the wrapped bandage on his own cut. It sank through his skin and vanished.

“Can’t have you ‘uninfluenced’ by my magic forever, after all, now can I?” she whispered, staring down at them. Blood was welling and spilling over the edges of Shinichi’s cut, running in thin lines down his arm and onto Kaito’s back. She considered it for a few moments longer then raised her scythe again, touching the back of the blade to the cut and tracing over it. The blood followed, running back up Shinichi’s arm and under his skin. The wound scabbed over.

Bemused by her own actions, Akako watched them sleep for a few moments more before shaking herself firmly and stepping back into the shadows.

“Good night,” she murmured. Then she and all her magic faded from the room.